HARRIS COUNTY, Texas - The Harris County Sheriff's Office has released body cam video after a deputy-involved shooting last week left a 45-year-old Marcelo Garcia dead.
Investigators say Garcia was apparently having a mental health crisis when authorities were called to his house in East Harris County.
His family tells FOX 26 that Garcia suffers from bi-polar disorder and schizophrenia.
Last week, Marcelo Garcia's family said that he was unarmed when a Harris County Sheriff’s deputy shot and killed him.
Activists with FIEL Houston demanded for the release of the body cam video to determine those answers. On Tuesday, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office complied.
The department released body cam video from four different angles of responding deputies on the scene of the 5900 block of Sunflower Prairie Court in East Harris County on April 14.
In the video, Garcia can be seen answering his door holding a knife in his hand and getting confrontational with the responding deputy, accusing him of trying to break into his house.
The video then shows Garcia chasing the responding deputy down the street, asking the deputy to kill him, before the deputy deploys his taser.
The deputy is then seen running away, even pulling out his gun, turning around and firing two shots, striking Garcia.
Garcia's wife and kids can be heard crying, hysterical in the background.
HCSO Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said he attempted to reach Garcia’s family multiple times before the bodycam footage was made public at the news conference Tuesday, but claims he was unable to reach them.
SIGN UP FOR FOX 26 HOUSTON EMAIL ALERTS
Sheriff Gonzalzes said all the body cam video was played in the news conference and none of it was redacted.
In a statement, Marcelo Garcia's family responded to the video:
"In light of the breaking news out of Minneapolis, we do not want this statement to encroach on the national news. However, given the timing of the Sheriff’s Office’s presentation, the family of Marcelo Garcia would like to issue the following brief statement: While we had the opportunity to watch this afternoon’s press conference, we have still not been afforded the entirety of the unedited body cam footage from all of the responding personnel. We would first like to point out that the Sheriff’s Office has known of both the attorneys’ representation and FIEL’s involvement in this matter for several days. The Sheriff’s Office first reached out to the attorneys only hours before the press conference. We continue to look forward to the transparency noted by Sheriff Gonzalez. Even with the presentation this afternoon, there remains significant questions as to the April 14 events before, during and after the deputy’s encounter with Marcelo. At this time, the family continues its investigation and reiterates its willingness to cooperate with the investigation. While the Garcia family is still awaiting the return of Marcelo’s remains, there
is a vigil planned for Marcelo Garcia at 7:00 p.m., on April 23, 2021 at Gene Green Beltway 8 Park. A future press conference will be scheduled." - Bianca Calderón de Lachica, attorney representing family of Marcelo Garcia.
The family plans on filing a wrongful death suit.
The deputy who shot and killed Marcelo Garcia had seven months with the department, and all deputies have 40 hours of mental health incident training, according to the sheriff’s office.
The Harris County District Attorney’s Office is conducting an independent investigation and will present evidence to a grand jury to determine whether lethal force was warranted.
The case is in the early stages of an ongoing investigation by the Sheriff’s Office Homicide Division, the Sheriff’s Office Internal Affairs, and the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. Garcia’s cause and manner of death will be determined by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences.
This case remains under investigation.